At least nine crew members have died
in a Christmas day fire on board as Atlantic Bulk Carrier's vessel.
At least five crew of the 37,300 dwt Aegean Wind (built 1983)
have suffered serious injuries, says Admiral Carlos Aniasi,
the commandant of the Venezuelan Navy.
The bulker caught fire while it was in the Caribbean
about 61 km from the island of Blanquilla
off Venezuela's northeast coast.
It had a crew of nine Greeks and 15 Filipinos on board,
some of whom were rescued by helicopter.
Most of the injured were taken to a military hospital
on Margarita but one man with third degree burns
was taken to a Caracas hospital.
Aniasi says the cause of the fire is not yet known.
The blaze is believed to have begun
in the engine room and spread quickly to the bridge.